As Congress finished its work on the fiscal 2007 federal budget, the House Science & Technology Committee turned its attention to the 2008 budget (see page 25) at a hearing last week. Committee members concerned about funding for education and science programs heard from Office of Science & Technology Policy Director John H. Marburger III, who pointed out that the President's 2008 proposed federal R&D budget is up $5.5 billion from the 2007 budget to $142.7 billion. With respect to basic research, he said federal support is set to grow almost $1 billion over the 2006 appropriated level, to $28.4 billion. S&T Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), however, expressed his concern over the proposed R&D funding, noting that in absolute dollars, this portion of the budget is declining as a percentage of our economy. Marburger countered that the tight budget environment requires difficult choices and that "this year's R&D budget proposal provides robust levels of investment that allow America to maintain its leadership position in science and move ahead in selected priority areas."